This One Million Checkbox game is sparking an internet war – and it's taken hours of our life we'll never get back

One Million Checkboxes
It looks so simple... (Image credit: Future)

A lot of the time, the most addictive games are the simplest ones, and so we present to you One Million Checkboxes. You can get the gist of this new game from its title, but the gameplay simply involves you checking and unchecking as many boxes as you like.

Simple, right? Well, if you want to stay productive today, we'd encourage you to think carefully before following that link. You run the risk of being dragged into an endless battle across a field of flashing blue and white squares.

The checked status of each box is the same for every player, which means any box you fill in might soon be made blank again by someone else – and mini-wars are breaking out all across the board as the checkers battle the uncheckers.

Up in the top right corner of the screen is a count of how many boxes you've checked, and how many boxes have been checked. The game, straightforward though it is, is causing a furore online, as some players try and empty the board and some try to fill it up.

Soothing or frustrating?

The game comes from creator Nolen Royalty, who has made similar games and internet oddities before. Judging by the developer's X feed, they weren't expecting quite so many people to get involved – some 500,000, by the last count.

And you don't have to go far on the web to find reactions: it's "kinda soothing" to some, but "maximally frustrating" to others, so your mileage may vary. What's clear is that it's addictive enough to take up a significant chunk of the day.

At the time of writing, the number of checked boxes is up to around 560,000, and the activity is frenetic up at the top of the board. Scroll down, or use the jump box down in the lower right corner, and you can find calmer blocks of the board to play around in.

The big question is: what happens when every box on the board is checked? Or every box on the board is cleared? Perhaps nothing at all – but judging by the time we've spent glued to the checkbox action, we might never end up finding out.

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David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.